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Irish Government plans Digital Service Gateway



Republic’s new eGovernment Strategy includes developing e-ID capability, work on national data infrastructure and legislation to support data sharing

The Government of the Republic of Ireland has laid out plans for a Digital Service Gateway as a prime element of a new eGovernment Strategy designed for the period up to 2020.

It has also highlighted plans for a stronger e-identification system, and efforts to beef up its data infrastructure and sharing capabilities.

The strategy, which bears similarities to those of the UK Government, has been developed to build on its predecessor that covered 2012-15 and is focused on 10 key actions.

The document says that the service gateway should provide a simple front end for services of most interest to citizens and businesses, allowing them authenticate themselves and avoid rekeying information.

The Government plans to run a consultation on is development, and stresses that it should match the online services provided by the retail and banking sectors. It will be backed up by developments in the existing e-identification capability, providing for single sign-on and verification.

Authentication roadmap

The strategy acknowledges the worries over online impersonation and identity theft, but says it believes it already has a strong mechanism in the form of its MyGovID and Public Services Card. A roadmap has been developed to strengthen these through the SAFE II authentication model.

Similar plans are in store to develop businesses and location identification, with the take-up of the Eircode postcode system and an e-identification process.

There are other strong echoes of UK Government efforts in the effort to improve data sharing capability with the development of a national data infrastructure, consisting of principles, standards, codes, policies and systems, along with a new Data Sharing and Governance Bill to provide safeguards and conditions.

The other key actions are to:

  • Maintain the overall Digital Programme plan.
  • Continue to develop the Open Data Portal.
  • Transform back office processes.
  • Ensure appropriate governance is in place.
  • Ensure that government employees have the skills and capabilities needed.

Patrick O’Donovan TD (pictured), the minister for e-government, said: “The new eGovernment Strategy sets out our plans to be a leader in the provision of digital government services.

“We have made substantial progress over the last few years and want to build upon that. The expectations of our people are very clear in terms of more convenient, intuitive and joined-up digital services; delivering on these expectations will be one of my key priorities going forward.”

Image from Fine Gael

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